City Attorney David Chiu Talks Policy At Neighborhood Town Hall

City officials met with the District 11 community to address concerns around rulings and policy enforcements.

City Attorney David Chiu Talks Policy At Neighborhood Town Hall
City Attorney David Chiu, Supervisor Ahsha Safaí, Taraval Station Lt. Diane Khuu and Ingleside Station Capt. Amy Hurwitz at Ward Rec Center. | Anne Marie Kristoff/Ingleside Light

San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu, District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safaí, Ingleside Station Capt. Amy Hurwitz and Taraval Station Lt. Diane Khuu participated in a town hall last Wednesday night at the Minnie and Lovie Ward Recreation Center. 

Over 30 people attended the nearly two-hour meeting — including Judge Michael Isaku Begert — to voice concerns around checks and balances within the city attorney’s office, homelessness initiatives and traffic issues.

“This is a very important thing that we all do together when we come together to talk about what we're seeing and what we're dealing with in the community,” Capt. Hurwitz said. “It's really important for me to hear and for Lt. Khuu of Taraval to hear because we like to know where we need to put our resources.”

Mary Harris, a member of the Ocean View-Merced Heights-Ingleside Neighbors In Action, asked about the ongoing situation with SF Safe, a public safety-focused nonprofit funded by the police department that has been under investigation for misuse of city funds. The initial investigation was conducted by Chiu’s office and the Controller’s Office but is now under by the District Attorney’s Office.

Safaí said an audit will be done, but in the meantime there are concerns around access to security cameras across the city that were managed by SF Safe.

“One of the reasons why we have commissions, why we do the work, is exactly for situations like this,” Safaí said. “[SF Safe's] core mission was providing and working with communities around building safety and neighborhood watches. At some point, they got away from that mission.”

Other issues that were voiced were the lack of parking near the recreation center, the need for street signs throughout the city and information about plans for tolls to be placed on drivers downtown. Safaí said the implementation of the tolls wouldn’t be considered unless there’s stronger recovery downtown.

People talk at meeting.
Over 30 people attended City Attorney David Chiu's town hall, including supervisor aspirant EJ Jones. | Anne Marie Kristoff/Ingleside Light

The meeting concluded with discussions on homelessness and the constraints placed on the city.

Chiu said they are doing what they can to enforce rules around homelessness, following an injunction that bars San Francisco from sweeping encampments without making an offer of alternative shelter.

One attendee asked what was being done to offer mental health services for unhoused people.

While systems currently in place make it difficult for particular resources to be administered, Chiu said they have been trying to improve mental health conservatorship laws by working with Gov. Gavin Newsom to create programs that provide public health agencies more support to help those in certain mental situations but things like that need funding.

“From my perspective, I think we'll be able to get some individuals the help they need and get some of these folks off the streets but we need an awful lot more work and, frankly, a lot more resources to do that,” Chiu said.

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